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Russell insists nationality must not sway F1 driver market

Russell insists nationality must not sway F1 driver market

Russell insists nationality must not sway F1 driver market

Russell insists nationality must not sway F1 driver market

George Russell has insisted drivers must not reach F1 purely based on their nationality.

The inaugural Miami Grand Prix last weekend was a marker of the growth of F1 in the United States but there have been calls to promote an American driver into a race seat to further the push.

IndyCar star Colton Herta has been linked to a seat since his current team boss Michael Andretti attempted to take over the Sauber team last season.

Herta will test for McLaren later this year but Russell has warned against drivers joining the grid purely for their nationality.

"I've not really had any experience with American drivers, not that I can really remember," said Russell.

"Maybe there was one or two when we were going through karting.

"I think Formula 1 is the pinnacle of the sport and we shouldn't have a driver on the grid just because of their nationality.

"We should have the best drivers earning their right to be here and proving them themselves when they're here. So I think we don't live in a perfect world but this is the pinnacle and it needs to stay like that."

Since Liberty Media took over the running of F1 in 2017, an emphasis has been put on increasing the on-track show of the sport, not least with the new regulation set this year aimed at creating more racing action.

Russell believes that having the best drivers possible on the grid will lead to a better racing product.

"We have the best engineers, we have the best everything here, we go to the best places and that needs to filter down to the drivers as well," added the Mercedes driver.

"And when you've got the best, often the show becomes even better.

"I mean even going to the [Miami] Heat [basketball] game, you can see who the best players are. You can see how they move and that is exciting for the fans."

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